HBO sued for sharing viewing history with Facebook

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Two subscribers have sued HBO in the US. They claim that the video streaming service shared their viewing history with Facebook without being asked. The social medium would link this data to Facebook profiles.

That writes the American media company Variety.

Federal law prohibits sharing of viewing history

Law firm Bursor & Fisher filed suit in federal court in New York on Tuesday on behalf of two concerned subscribers. It states that HBO has shared subscriber viewing history with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network then linked this data to Facebook profiles. Facebook, therefore, knows flawlessly which movies and series users watch in their spare time.

With these practices, HBO is violating the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). This federal law was enacted in 1988 by then-President Ronald Reagan. The reason for this was that a reporter made the viewing and rental history of Judge Robert Bork public. At the time, Bork was in the running to be nominated for the Supreme Court. Ultimately, his nomination was withdrawn and Anthony Kennedy was awarded the nomination.

‘Standard privacy policy is not enough’

The subscribers’ lawyers argue that HBO should be aware of the data exchange with Facebook because the media company is a major advertiser on the social network. Information about customers’ viewing history is used to provide its own subscribers with targeted advertisements.

HBO does have a privacy policy on its website, but according to the law firm, that is insufficient to guarantee the privacy of subscribers. The privacy policy only states that HBO and its partners use cookies to serve personalized

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